Cracking jokes and laughing with your friends feels good. So why can it be so difficult to share a good laugh with your coworkers?
Humor is a natural way to relieve the stress level in your work environment. But it can be a tricky thing to balance while remaining professional. Mike Staffa, founder and director of the bilingual improve comedy group The Pirates of Tokyo Bay, understands the importance of humor and laughter at work.
In his GLOBIS Unlimited course, Building Teams with Laugher, he shares his tips on how you can reduce stress and foster a stronger sense of community between teammates by laughing together at work.
Embracing a good sense of humor can have a major impact.
Mike Staffa: To me, comedy and laughter go hand in hand in a business sense. I think laughter can help combat stress and tension in the workplace. And so we want to offer those kinds of workshops to help teams understand that laughter is okay. It’s a good way to bring teams together, not just as teambuilding. I would almost call it team maintenance.
Keeping teams healthy together through laughter—to connect teambuilding with laughter—is essential in the modern era.
Sharing laughter brings us closer together.
I think people want to enjoy where they work, so the workshops that we offer connecting with laughter at work really help people enjoy their work, connect with their teammates, work more efficiently through laughter, and have fun. It’s not just the daily grind of the job.
So the workshops that we offer help people understand that value of laughter and connecting with their teammates in maybe a different way than other corporate workshops that are out there.
When we work with teams, we often talk to them about various pain points that they have within their company and how we can address them and try to minimize those pain points. Some of those pain points that we’ve realized are managers having a difficult time, like having tough conversations with their teams, whether it’s about salary adjustments or grade scales.
You can lead while laughing at work.
There might be new managers that are inexperienced in knowing how to set up goals or how to work with their team and motivate them. And the workshops that we offer which bring in laughter and bring in team building or team maintenance really help minimize some of these pain points for new or inexperienced managers.
Some of the pain points that we’ve identified, include . . . maybe an employee kind of feels left out of the team or they struggle to integrate with their team, whether it’s a multicultural team or a subsidiary of a foreign office. Bringing in laughter or making it a safe space to laugh and have fun helps bring quiet team members closer into a team and unify them.
Laughter is the best medicine.
And so that’s some of the pain points we try to reduce. We get everyone on an equal playing field through laughter, so that they really are a team and they’re not just left out. Some of the workshops that we do will role play where they will try to fire us or demote us, and we will go through difficult conversations and present them with challenges.